Power and Nature: A Contemporary Archaeology of Yosemite National Park

Author(s): John Chenoweth

Year: 2015


Parks are the creation of established power structures, and are themselves statements about power over nature. Visitors to these parks, however, negotiate these structures in their own ways. Often, historical archaeological analysis focuses on power struggles: domination and resistance between classes, races, genders, etc. This paper analyzes how some of the tools of these more traditional archaeological analyses apply to the present. A contemporary archaeology of litter in Yosemite has explored the concepts of "nature" and "culture," carefully critiqued by anthropologists over the last few decades, but still at the forefront of the public debate over the environment. Visitors’ actions make statements of power over nature but in ways that can defy our usual categories of domination and resistance.

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Cite this Record

Power and Nature: A Contemporary Archaeology of Yosemite National Park. John Chenoweth. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395532)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;